GOP accuses Democrats of holding up talks on 2016 budget

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Illinois Republicans are accusing majority Democrats of preventing progress on a new state budget by not seriously negotiating on GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner’s pro-business agenda.

Republican leaders Sen. Christine Radogno and Rep. Jim Durkin said Tuesday that Democrats have essentially walked away from talks about Rauner priorities such as freezing property taxes and reducing workers’ compensation costs.

They say that could mean the Legislature and Rauner won’t be able to agree on a budget by end of session May 31. That outcome would force a summer overtime session.

Democrats called the claims untrue.

Rikeesha Phelon is spokeswoman for Democratic Senate President John Cullerton. She says lawmakers have a constitutional duty to pass a budget and the process shouldn’t be “held hostage” by Rauner’s agenda.